tagErotic HorrorMind Games Ch. 06

Mind Games Ch. 06

byDragonCobolt©

I stepped away from the elevator as the doors started to close. The computer components were heading up to the portal, and I was down here. In the guts of Virgil Station. It wasn't Engineering - Engineering was where people turned theory into practicality. This was the area that was labeled on the map as Cryonics. It was where I had started. It was back to the beginning. My head still buzzed with the revelations that I had seen on the way to Cryonics. I didn't know what to think. I didn't know what to feel. I just knew what I had to do.

I had to get the power rerouted back to the portal. With that and the computer and the Tesc genetic signature that they had up there, Jules and the other survivors could get home. To Earth. To a planet I had never seen, but in dreams and memories stolen from another woman.

"Lassie," Lucas' voice - smooth as ever - broke into my thoughts. "What happened up there? In Corporate?"

Leviathan.

My skin covered in goosebumps and my nipples hardened enough to cut glass. I shivered and felt the ache of my sex spreading for that massive cock. The warmth of his alien cum, spurting into me. And I heard his voice, rumbling and rich like dark chocolate.

I am making a choice multifaceted.

All things balance in the end, Beatrice.

"Lassie?" Lucas sounded more insistent. "What happened?"

"A big scary fuckoff space dragon tried to kill me and I ran away. Real fast," I snapped. "Lucas, where are you on this fucking station again?"

"I've been hiding in a closet," he said. "You can collect me on the way back. You just need to get the power rerouted. The components are located at several junctions you've been at before when you were first exploring this place. I'll sing out when you get to em - but look for something labeled as BD-BS-2. That'll be the first bit of fuckery you'll need to get working."

I nodded and started forward, my feet thumping on the ground. I was too tired and worn to want to bother with stealth. And, honestly, I felt like I could use a chance to fucking rip and tear some monsters apart. I came to the first echo of what I had seen before: The woman, her throat still bulging with cum, her eyes still wide as she looked out at nothing. She hadn't started to decay, which made sense. It had only been...what? A few hours? And I didn't even know if she would. Time didn't exist in the Tesc universe, save for what we dragged with us.

I knelt down next to her, frowning at her face.

Wait...

"You look familiar," I muttered.

It had been blurred and covered in static. But...I pulled out the PDA that I had grabbed from corporate, skimming through the files on it. I found a selfie and checked it. Yeah. I was right. This girl was Feet Up, from the desk in Corporate. Rachel Loesser. She was in the 'human resources' department, according to the bits of her PDA I could access. What the fuck was a human resources flunkie from...my head pulsed and a faint memory hazed across my vision. It felt as if I could half see the corridor I was in and half see a different one. The two superimposed across my eyes and my head ached harder, migraine fierce.

I fell back onto my butt, groaning as I realized the reason why the two visions jarred so much was because it was the same corridor. Just viewed from different angles. I tilted my head back, trying to get the visions to match, and realized the memory was of me - on a gurney. Bouncing. Jouncing. It felt edged with ice and hard. Not the faint phantasmagoria of the memories of the boat, the girl, the kiss. This was my memory, not Beatrice's memory.

"We have a Class 9 on the line," a male voice said, echoing.

"Oh, Miss Montenegro is going to be pleased. Okay, prep the CSC and get Dobbs on it." That was Loesser's voice in my mind.

"Dobbs did the freak out yesterday, he's on psyche."

"Fuuuuuuuuck!"

"You co-"

The memory shattered as Lucas spoke up. "Lassie?"

"My name is-" I snapped, springing to my feet - furious that he had snapped me out of it. I shook my head. "Nevermind. What?"

"Just wanted to make sure you weren't spacing out on me," Lucas said, quietly. "Listen, you need to work fast. This station may be running out of time - I've stopped getting recordings from the habitation deck."

I rubbed my palm along my face. But something was bugging me. Something that didn't quite resolve by the time I had reached the first component. Lucas walked me through yanking it open, fiddling with the bits inside, flipping the switches. Once I had finished up and slapped the casing closed, he said: "All right, that should handle it. You won't need to worry about the next one as much - it's just the exact same procedure."

"Got it," I said, rubbing at my eye with my thumb to clear out some grit. Three more components to fiddle into place, and the power was rerouted to the portal. We got out. Or did we? Did Jules and Tracy and...did...I get out? I rubbed on my chin.

"Jules?" I asked. "You read me?"

Nothing. I looked around myself and saw there were no speakers. I searched my memory of the last time I had rooted around here and started back to the locker room where I had gotten the pistol. Stepping inside, I found the two drones I had smashed were still there. I was actually getting better at recognizing the components and spotted a few that were basically the same com-units that other people on this station had used. It was cheaper to use the same component and slap it into a drone than it was to specially make one for the specific drone. It was holding that component in my palm - like an ugly egg of plastic and black metal - that it clicked into place. I frowned and stood up.

"Lucas?" I asked.

"What, lass?" He asked.

"Nothing, just wanted to make sure you were still with me," I said.

He grunted. I walked to the second component and then started to yank it apart. When I was halfway through, I asked again: "Lucas?"

No answer. I frowned, my face set, and continued to work on the bits and pieces within with one hand. My free hand held up the communicator and I clicked through frequencies with my thumb. It clicked to one and I heard Jules' voice, squeaky and corrupted and hard to hear.

"Are you another survivor?" he asked. "I just got the signal from-"

"It's me, Jules," I said, my voice quick. "I don't have much time. Can you detect Tesc...energy or something?"

"We...have that capacity, yes," he said. "But it has to be timed right. The burst of exotic particles lasts a very short time, and-"

"When I turn this communicator on again, you have to be really quiet and not speak to me through it," I whispered. "And scan the whole fucking station. Got it? Do you got it?"

"Yes, I understand," Jules said, sounding mystified.

I turned off the communicator, then plugged in another component. As it clicked into place the device whirred to life and the power continued to redirect. I started to walk down the corridor, then grinned slightly - trying to hide any nerves I felt. I could just be imagining things. I could just be building paranoid delusions, the first such delusion from someone who had been cock-shocked into madness by a fucking Tesc monster. For all I knew, everything after Leviathan was just a fevered daydream. Fuck. Everything before Leviathan might have been a fucking dream.

"Lucas?" I asked, cramming all those worries away.

"Yeah, Lassie?" he asked, sounding distracted.

"Just wondering," I said, turning on the communicator as subtly as I could, hiding it against my hip. "You got a girlfriend?"

"What does that have to do with anything, lassie?" he sounded amused.

"Well, I mean, I'm kinda feeling on edge here. This whole fucking day has been one insane piece of bullshit after another," I said, shaking my head. "Having some human contact will be real nice, I'm just saying."

Lucas sighed softly. "Fine, lassie. Okay. I don't have a girlfriend. But I did have a lot of friends who were girls, and were quite pleased to have me around. If you know what I mean."

"FWB?" I asked, grinning - the letters coming from the depths of my memory without need for elaboration.

"You know it, lassie," he said, then sighed. "Listen, I've got to get back to work on some hacking I'm doing."

I nodded - and prayed. When his voice went away, I paused, then held the communicator up and whispered into it as I stood beside the final power conduit. "Did you get it?"

Jules voice was silent for a long time. I worried he didn't have a connection to me for a moment, but then he spoke. His voice rasped and sounded like he had run several miles by himself.

"I did." He paused. "It's coming from the center of Cryonics. That room is just a collection of pipes and cryogenic storage systems, it's not a room, nothing should come from there."

I slowly turned to the side and looked at the corridor made by the cryocoffins. There they were, creating a pair of parallel lines that lead straight to a solidly built bulkhead. I remembered, what felt like a month ago, standing at this very place, looking down this very corridor, at that very bulkhead. I remember being filled with a terror of the doors opening by themselves. Of the corpses moving when I wasn't looking at them. I clenched my fist and started forward. My feet padded almost silently on the ground as I walked past coffins. I walked past Coffin 0451.

I came to the doorway and tried the hatch.

It refused to budge.

"Of course," I snarled, pulling my fingers away from the hatch. I noticed a set of scanners, subtly hidden along the hatch. Biometric scanners. Who put biometric scanners on a hatch leading into a room full of pipes and maintenance systems? I felt coldly furious as I turned back and walked off. When I returned, blood splattered my face and arm and I was holding a ragged stump and a grasping hand. Shotguns were not exceptionally good at amputating things. But when you had infinite ammo, you can do a lot of shit.

I slapped the hand onto the hatch, then sent a tiny jolt of electrical energy through it. Just enough to cause it to grip and warm. The hatch chimed and I was able to twist it open with a vicious jerk. It swung inwards and I stepped into the center of Cryonics...and back in time.

I stood in a room I remembered vividly and yet had never been in. But it wasn't just that sense of horrible deja vu that made me feel as if I had stepped backwards through time. Rather, it was the fact that the center of the chamber was a six foot long stone slab. The edges were cut with gutters and grooves that were clearly designed to drain off into a pair of receptacles. Both of those receptacles were empty at the moment, but I could see where the bottle would snap in. The table was covered with curling, curving runes. Runes. The same as the inside of the collar that controlled my nanite clothing. The walls were decorated by unfurled red banners and six sided pentagrams. A leering goat's head statue sat in the center of the wall, looming over the macabre altar. Chains were connected to that altar. Chains that were spattered with drying blood.

I remembered being pushed towards the altar.

Robed figures loomed over me.

I remembered being chained down.

I remembered a voice.

"Begin the ritual."

The chanting. It rose goosebumps along my skin, even in memory, and then. Then. Oh. Then. The jarring, the hideous juxtaposition. The cellphone going off. I could remember one of the robed figures slapping at themselves, then pulling out their phone. Its light - garish and blue - had splayed across the ceiling and I could see the smiling face of Rachel Loesser as she tapped away at the phone, looking up at the others.

"Sorry, guys, sorry..."

The memory cut off, as suddenly as if it had been recorded and someone had hit pause. I staggered to one knee, my hand going to my forehead. "Ah..." I whispered, hotly. My eyes closed and I felt the migraine pulse shuddering through my head. "What the fuck what the fuck what the fucking fuck!?" I snarled.

"Ah, that seems to have torn it."

The voice - cool and calm and Scottish - came from behind me. I sprang to my feet, backing around, my butt pressing to the altar as I aimed my shotgun at the man who had appeared behind me. He looked as if he wasn't quite there. Not because of a holographic shimmer or a crackle. Rather, it was that he was simply too perfect to be in the same world as the rest of us. His hair was raven black and his eyes were piercing, emerald green. He wore a finely pressed suit, sharp and clean lined, with a golden pocket watch in one hand. He was looking down at it and snapped it shut as I leveled my shotgun at his face. He looked up at me, tossing his head to flip some bangs back. His angular beauty made my heart ache.

It reminded me of Leviathan.

"I suppose the charade couldn't have lasted forever, lassie," Lucas said.

I stepped to the side, not wanting to touch the altar anymore. My shotgun didn't waver.

"Who the fuck are you?" I snarled.

Lucas chuckled. "I have a lot of names, lassie. More than you do." He smirked slightly as he stepped forward - his feet not making a noise as he walked forward. "The Dawnstar. The Accuser. The roaring lion." He spread his arms wide. "I am the Lightbringer. I am the whole fucking universe." He smirked at me and that Scottish accent faded - dropped like a mask. He was close enough to touch me now, my shotgun almost bumping against his nose. His finger reached up and he gently pushed it aside. "And you are going to help me to set this record straight."

"The Tesc aren't aliens, are they?" I asked.

"Depends on your definition," the Lightbringer said, walking slowly past me. He started to circle around me, his finger caressing the edge of the alter. "Better, it depends on your perspective. There are a great number of worlds. Some are light. Some are dark. Some rich with potential. Some dying and cracked." He grinned at me as he came back around the alter. Somehow, he had moved so that I was pinned - his arms were on either corner of the alter, my butt pressed against the edge of it. I could touch his too perfect arms or I could try and scramble up on the alter. But I didn't move. I couldn't look away from his eyes. I couldn't stop listening to his voice.

"Where a world is perched between extremes, it creates potential energy. Like the magnet in an electrical generator," the Lightbringer said, his breath hot against my face. "Your world is one such, caught betwixt and between. And so, your souls have been marvelously potent."

I gulped slowly. "A-And TempleSoft has been...what? Dealing with demons?"

The Lightbringer laughed. "Oh, no, lassie. The UAC started that." He stepped back and away from me, his hands sliding behind his back. "But TempleSoft picked up where they left off. And they figured out this little program." He gestured around himself with one hand. "Clone someone who wants to sell their soul, imprint their memories onto the clone, and sacrifice the clone."

"And that works?" I asked.

The Lightbringer's shoulders twitched. He didn't look back at me. But I could tell he was upset. I smirked slowly as he breathed in, then out.

"It's harder to tell when you're not there. You get the burst of energy, the soul. After a time, the soul dissolves. Far faster than it should. That tipped off my lieutenants and eventually, myself."

"And ever since then, TempleSoft fucking bilked-"

The Lightbringer's hand closed around my throat. He lifted me up and off my feet, effortlessly. The iron vice of his grip squeezed tight and his cold eyes flashed as he looked into mine. He snarled, softly, then spoke and shook me with every word for emphasis. "Don't. Poke. The. Bear. Lassie." He dropped me and I hit the ground hard. I gasped for air, my eyes hooded. The Lightbringer shook his head slowly. "Our finances are in arrears. But fortunately, souls delivered directly should last a great deal longer than those delivered via death..."

I rubbed my throat, coughing. "What the fuck are you on about?"

"You're going to reroute the portal to my home," the Lighbringer said, calmly.

My eyes widened.

"And then you go home," he said, calmly. "You get to take up the life of one Beatrice Montenegro - she offered her soul, and your ritual might have been interrupted by this station being yanked into Hell. The conduit is open."

I breathed slowly. "So, you want me...to dump those four into Hell. Then murder a woman, who..."

"Dump four people who worked for a corporation like this one without asking a single question into a richly deserved afterlife, then complete a contract made by a woman who wants her brother's wealth and is too cowardly to take it," the Lightbringer said, turning to look down at me. "Admit it, nothing you've seen here makes them worth saving. Clones, sacrificed to appease the rich. Weapons technology, in a world already with a peace fragile enough to break with a cough." He shook his head slowly.

I rubbed my throat - feeling the pain fading to almost nothing. But I kept up the movement, not wanting to give away my thoughts. I looked at the Lightbringer - past the Lightbringer, at the statue leering down at me from the wall. That statue of the horned goat, the leering eyes, those slitted pupils. I slowly licked my lips.

"And I get wealth? Fame? Immortality?"

The Lightbringer chuckled. "As close to immortality as can be offered one with your shinimantic makeup, yes."

I grinned. "Sounds good."

The Lightbringer smirked.

"If I was a dickless asshole," I murmured.

I pulled the trigger. The shotgun wasn't aimed expertly. But it didn't need to be aimed expertly. It was a fucking shotgun. The pellets slammed into the leering statue, shattering it into a spray of plaster and chunks of stone. The cloud of the impact filled the room and the Lightbringer staggered away from me, screeching. I scrambled to my feet, sprinting towards the exit. Then I heard the screeching changing pitch. Hue. Tone. It was becoming something else.

Laughter.

"You idiot!" the Lightbringer laughed, emerging from the chamber. He looked more real than he ever had before, dust caking his suit, mussing up his hair. He brushed it off his shoulders and smirked at me. "That wasn't an icon of my power. That was my prison."

I gulped.

Crap.

The Lightbringer snapped his fingers. The cryocrypts opened and the dessicated corpses of the other sacrifices emerged. Their bodies showed, now that they were standing upright, the huge cuts where their hearts had been removed, their entrails ripped out. They stepped out, their arms reaching towards me, hideous moans busting from their mouths. I stepped back against the wall and felt a clammy hand close around my ankle. I looked down and saw the one handed corpse of Rachel Lossener looking up at me, her mouth gurgling, her eyes glowing with red fury. I shot her in the head and staggered backwards and away. The other zombies were rushing forward, and I could hear snarling sounds coming from the other cryo corridors. I'd be surrounded soon. I stepped backwards, waiting until the zombies were clustered. Then I fired out a blast of lightning at the ceiling conduit that I had prepped. It exploded in a spray of sparks and arcing lightning. Zombies exploded in sprays of gore and I staggered backwards with the impact of bone and blood along my forearm.

The conduit's surging power faded for a moment. I risked a sprint forward, rushing for the elevator shaft. I got there almost at the same time as the second zombie hoard. My shotgun roared and several zombies staggered backwards, more thrown by the pellet impacts than damaged. But as I cocked the shotgun, I heard laughter chasing me from behind the corridor. The Lightbringer walked towards me, shaking his head slightly as he went.

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